We're looking ahead to a great season, but don't just take my word for it; read what REL has to say!
SWALEC Cup draw
Ebbw Vale have a bye in January 10th's first round. The full draw is linked from here.
Coaching and support staff and captain for 2014-15
Ebbw Vale Rugby Club is pleased to confirm the coaching staff and captain for 2014-15 return to the Premiership. For the nucleus of the squad and coaching staff below this will be their fifth consecutive season together
Head Coach - Jason Strange is delighted to be staying and taking the club into the premiership. "Ebbw Vale is a club which means a lot to me, it's where I started my playing career at youth level and I’m absolutely delighted to be staying," Jason told the website. “We’ve done well so far in terms of success, but theres still lots of growth in the team and club which is exciting. There was a bit of interest from the outside, but for me at this time Ebbw Vale is the only place I want to be. I would feel disappointed with myself if I left the club at this point. We all want the club to improve year on year and are committed to working together to achieve that. We have come a long way in a short period of time, but I know that there is more to come in the future.
Forwards Coach - Duane Goodfield has also recommitted. Duane fitted in superbly last season after joining midway through the season and played a huge part in developing the forwards superbly.
Team Manager - Doug Taylor who has been a great clubman for many seasons both during the successful professional era and more recently semi professional teams.
Head Physiotherapist and Conditioner (and past player) - Rhys Shorney whose vast experience and expertise is currently involved in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with the Wales Swimming Team.
Assistant Physiotherapist - Alan Hancock - who has been a fantastic servant to the club and will begin his 18th consecutive season with the Steelmen.
Strength , Conditioning & Skills Coach - Lewis Roberts who made a great impression in his first season with us last season as Strength and Conditioning Coach and will also play an active role in rugby skills coaching with the squad.
Logistics Team - Ron Taylor, Dilwyn Snelgrove and John Williams have all been great servants and will also be starting their 18th consecutive season with the club.
Jason said, "The Continuity in the squad and staff has been very important in our success during the past four seasons; through continuity you gain experiences and we have been extremely fortunate to have people who have been involved with this club for a considerable length of time, maintaining the core values of what the club is about" .
The Club are also pleased to announce this season's captain, the legendary Damien Hudd. Jason said, "Appointing Damien to captain the club for a record fifth consecutive season was an easy decision; he embodies everything you look for in a captain, and everything we expect from players at Ebbw Vale. His leadership is second to none. Damien probably had his best season for the club last season, featuring in nearly every game, and just as importantly he’s a great example off the field to the rest of the squad. He is a local lad who has the respect of everyone at Ebbw Vale. His work ethic and dedication to improving week on week is exactly what we, as a group of coaches and players, need as we continue the development of the club.”
Long Term Injuries Update
There is further good news with the majority of the long-term injured making excellent progress on their way back to challenge for team places. The current expected return dates are:-
Gareth Williams - Mid September
Rhys Clarke - September 1st
Lewis Young - November 1st
Joe Bartlett - post Christmas
The Steelmen have signed Josh Jacas who spent last season playing for Genova in Italy. Josh, who can play in the back or second rows has had previous experience with Bridgend, Glamorgan Wanderers and Caerphilly and is the son of former Tredegar captaon, Frank Jacas.
Inevitably, other players move on and we wish to express our thanks and best wishes for the future to Polu Uhi, David James and Tom McAloon who have decided to play elsewhere next season, but will always be very welcome visitors to ECP.
Open Day - August 9th
A message from Jason Strange: "This year's Open Day will commence at 10am at Cae Canol (training field) on Saturday 9th August. The format will be different to previous years so as not to impact on a wedding in the clubhouse. In that respect any supporters who are driving are asked not to use clubhouse parking. We're hoping RTB minis will be training at the same time to showcase their great club structure and opportunities for younger players. Come along and see how the squad is shaping up for out Premiership return. Further details to follow.
Fosters National Sevens
Ebbw Vale have been drawn against Cardiff Met in the first round of the Fosters National Sevens to be held at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 24 August.
Tickets are on sale now at just £10 for adults, £5 for Under 16s and £20 for a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children). To purchase tickets now, go to www.wru.co.uk/fosterssevens, call 0333 321 9989 (Ticketmaster) or 02920 230130 (Ticketline). Tickets are also available to personal callers from the WRU shop, 8 Westgate Street, from Ticketline, 47 Westgate Street.
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